Indonesian freight startup Kargo Technologies has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Amatil X, an affiliate of Coca-Cola.
Amatil X is the corporate innovation and venture capital arm of Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) – one of five regional ‘anchor bottlers’ worldwide that make the US-based Coca-Cola Company‘s products under license as part of the so-called ‘Coca-Cola system’.
Making a logistics play
According to Kargo CEO Tiger Fang, close to seven million lorries operate across Indonesia’s 17,000-or-so islands. Ninety percent of haulage companies in the country own 100 trucks or fewer, while 75% have 20 or fewer trucks in their fleets. This highly fragmented local logistics industry comprises a handful of large-scale, cross-country players competing against a multitude of medium-sized hauliers, small family firms, and individual drivers.
The startup’s ‘truck-hailing’ platform is attempting to aggregate as many of these service providers as possible into a single online marketplace, removing friction both for logistics providers and their prospective customers.
“Kargo connects businesses […] with trucking companies that have vehicles with cargo space available nearby,” Fang explained. “Importantly, Kargo can source loads [for] the backhaul, which means trucks are returning with fewer empty loads, allowing them to maximize revenue and better distribute costs.”
Shippers, hauliers, and consignees can track goods in real time using the startup’s app and website, enhancing traceability and accountability across the industry.
Kargo closed its last funding round in March 2019, raising $7.6 million in seed capital. Among the investors participating in that round were Sequoia Capital and 10100 Fund, the VC firm launched by Uber co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick (Kargo’s Fang is himself an Uber alum, having served as the ride-hailing giant’s general manager in China and Indonesia before it exited those markets).
10100 Fund’s other portfolio companies include CloudKitchens, which landed one of the biggest investments in agrifood last year according to AgFunder’s Agri-FoodTech Investing Report with $400 million from Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund PIF.
Tech’s the real thing
Alix Rimington, head of Amatil X, said that Kargo is already handling two land transportation routes for the company, with plans for more. She confirmed that Kargo is CCA’s first startup investment in Indonesia, and the deal is angled at furthering the beverage maker’s objective of digitizing its operations over time.
“Our team is actively working with Kargo to build out their transportation management system and we have a joint team in our Cibitung plant to identify further opportunities for collaboration,” she added.
“Startups are setting the pace of innovation […] in Indonesia. Knowing the scale of our business and our future ambitions, we believe that working with the right partners will help us to face market challenges and capture growth opportunities for the future. Great value can be unlocked when corporates and startups work together. Startups bring speed, we bring scale.”
Sydney-based CCA manufactures, packages, and distributes Coca-Cola product lines in Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa. It also produces a variety of non-Coke beverages across soft drinks, alcohol, coffee, and tea.
The Coca-Cola Company owns a majority stake in CCA – which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange – while it and CCA jointly own CCA’s Indonesian bottling subsidiary.